Allakhazam.com was invited to a joint development team interview with fellow Premier Sites Online Welten and Jeux Online at the 2008 Fan Festival. The interview took place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California on December 5th, 2008. Present at the interview were the following:
After the Developer's Interview, admins from Allakhazam, JeuxOnline, and Online Welten took a group photo with the Final Fantasy XI developers.
Top L-R: Steven Reinhart, Koichi Ogawa, Hiromichi Tanaka, Sven (Online Welten), Mitsutoshi Gondai, Mizuki Ito, Scott (Thayos), Cedric (JeuxOnline)
Bottom L-R: Sage Sundi, Yoji Fujito, Akihito Matsui, Crystal (Pikko)
Although what follows was transcribed from the interview, the text should not be accepted as verbatim. Due to translation, accents, and general room noise, the wording and perspective of the questions and answers have been altered in a minor way.
Online Welten: Will summoners ever get a new summon?
In the not so far future, yes, you can expect one. They are working on two possible pets. One of them is going to be very big.
JeuxOnline: Would it be possible to have a special Nyzil ID?
It's possible, but yes it seems a bit difficult in theory. We have to deal with the same problems with overcrowding and things like that.
Allakhazam.com: Will new armor sets be available through Field of Valor and if so will this include new endgame options?
A lot of individual pieces will be coming out but no complete sets like artifact or Relic or anything. Also, when we constructed the Fields of Valor system we had low to mid level range in mind so none of the items will be directed at endgame levels.
Online Welten: Will we ever be able to store high quality +1 armor sets?
We never really had it in mind that it wouldn't be a possibility but we're dealing with issues of limits system-wise so we're giving priority to more common sets of armor so that more people would be prone to use it as opposed to not so many people having an HQ set.
JeuxOnline: Do you plan to open the Colosseum in the near future?
When we first put it in, we expected in the future we'd use it for something, so we put it in there for starters so while we don't have any details planned on how we're going to use it. But we would like to create some form of use for it.
Allakhazam.com: Is the MMM system designed to bring new gil into the economy or will it also serve to remove gil?
That wasn't a specific motivation in mind when we designed it, whether it would be adding more gil or taking gil out of the economy, there are a lot of items that drop so it had a more simplistic thinking when we made it, increasing the number of items available and increasing the number of way people can get gil. We don't forsee it taking gil out of the economy. (this was later confirmed with the 200 gil entry fee shown during the demonstration the following day)
Online Welten: Did the server migration of Odin really change the situation there?
We did it before and it didn't have spectacular results, but it's just the first step in the process and we're planning to continue it. We have to have a way to combat the situation. We just have to continue for any results to come. If the situation doesn't improve then the last resort is to prevent any new migrations or character creations on the server, which we don't want to do but if it can't be helped it will be the only recourse.
JeuxOnline: Chains of Promathia was a long and hard expansion with a lot of battles, while Aht Urhgan was easier. Do you think the future expansions will be more like Chains of Promathia (difficult) or Aht Urhgan (easier)?
For the new three scenarios if you break it down to one or the other it would be more like the Aht Urhgan. If pressed, we would say that.
Allakhazam.com: Certain jobs haven't received significant updates in a long time such as the mage jobs like red mage, white mage, black mage. Can players expect any of those jobs to receive significant updates anytime in the foreseeable future?
Yes, yes you can expect some upgrades to those jobs. Some jobs. Nothing will be making it into the December patch, but hopefully if everything goes well then maybe the next patch after that, sometime in March. Some of the jobs like white mage, we realize they need upgrades for balancing.
Online Welten: Will we get a real usage for Dark Ixion horns?
We are looking into it. We're aware of it, but it's something we are still considering.
JeuxOnline: Can you tell us more about magic accuracy comparison to mind and intelligence in calculating the resist rate?
As you know, when the magic is resisted and the damage goes out, the amount of mind and intelligence have no affect on the damage that was cut. That's all we're willing to divulge.
Allakhazam.com: What actions will be taken against people who exploited the glitch to multiply drops in salvage, Nyzul assaults, and Sandworm NM fights?
We are addressing the issue now by looking at all the logs; the only thing is that just by looking at the logs it's hard to determine whether people exploited that glitch intentionally or accidentally. The logs are all we have to go on so once the log investigation is complete and we get more information we will go from there and decide the best course of action.
Online Welten: Is it possible to bring the Fan Festival to Europe?
We wish to do it so it is definitely possible if enough players want one. If it was held in Europe where would it be is the question.
JeuxOnline: We would like to know if it will be possible to sehave the cutscenes in French while playing in English?
That was something we initially looked into, but the representatives in Europe made the decision to have French in French and German in German. That's the way it was kept and we don't think there are any plans to change that. Now you can make the change to play in all English or all French, but it can't be mixed.
Allakhazam.com: What is being done to make sure that the new MazeMakers content won't be abused by RMT?
It will definitely be difficult to deal with, but since we aren't sure how it will be exploited so we'll have to look into how the RMT exploit it after it comes out, if they do. The concept behind the design is that we want anyone from level 1 to level 75 to be able to go in and enjoy themselves. That may actually attract RMT issues. Once released we can see anything like that happening, then the STF can develop countermeasures.
Online Welten: Any plans to increase speed level of connections?
Final Fantasy is a global service, but all of the servers are physically in Japan so when you're dealing with somewhere like France or somewhere else around the world it's difficult to account for... we can't allow faster speeds and faster gameplay to gain unfair advantages. We'd definitely like to minimize any kind of delay or slow connection. Downloads for patch connection is something someone with a fast connection can benefit from but we can't allow for increased speed of gameplay because that would be unfair.
JeuxOnline: We have 75 as max level, do you plan to increase it?
Originally we planned or thought about level caps up to 200 but we finally decided on 75 because it was a good number and the release of the merit point system is what finalized 75 as the highest level possible. We won't be raising it at any point in the future.
Allakhazam.com: At the Summit you (Sage Sundi) mentioned hardware security device. Do you still plan on introducing one?
We are still talking to several vendors. Hopefully we can have one soon, like next year. It can be the same like Blizzard.
Online Welten: Do you have plans for the next upgrade of abilities, merit quest?
We can't really say at this point.
Allakhazam.com: Players often want new merit camps that compete with the experience/hour of camps in the ToAU areas. Are there any plans to offer comparable merit camps in any of the three add-ons or by adjusting existing areas?
We like to think of the expansion of the Campaign system in areas of the past as a possibility for expanding areas where you can receive somewhat comparable amounts of experience.
Follow-up: You mean like adjusting those areas or adding to those areas or just players finding new ways to work within those areas?
We're thinking about new areas to introduce new activities.
Allakhazam.com: Will completing the upcoming expansions yield rewards comparable to finishing previous expansions?
Yes. You can expect a comparable piece of gear. Something nice. Something people will like.
Allakhazam.com: Are there plans for new jobs in any of the three expansions?
No, not at this point.
Allakhazam.com: New players nowadays have an extremely difficult time finding weapons and armor for sale at the auction houses in Windurst, Bastok, and San d'Oria. Do you plan on addressing this in any way?
Unfortunately everybody uses the Jeuno-based Auction House, which is also visible in the new areas, but combining those Auction Houses is something we definitely don't want to do. We feel strongly about keeping them separate. It's just up to the players where they want to put their items up for sale. The MMM will be introducing low level reward items such as weapons and armor, but those rewards are more for looks, more aesthetic pieces than practical ones.
JeuxOnline: Follow-up on the magic accuracy question. Does the effect of MND and INT have an effect on Magic Accuracy that then affects the magic resist?
Depending on magic, intelligence/intelligence comparison between the caster and the target and then from there the resistance rate is based on some kind of calculation there. It depends on the magic but it could be intelligence or it could be mind. It's not always that exact attribute that's being... depending on the magic, the caster's mind against the target's agility. There's different ways that it's calculated. Black mage damage is intelligence/intelligence. Other factors are calculated in. Back to your question about accuracy, whether or not it lands or not is... for white mages it's mind for black mages it's intelligence.
Allakhazam.com: Will players who are level synced in parties ever be able to call their NPC fellows?
System-wise it's a difficult feature to implement. It's difficult in theory, but not outside the realm of possibility. It's definitely something that could be done. Only, when we created Level Sync it was for the purpose of encouraging people to join a party together. If you're in a party you don't really need your fellow, but you never know, if enough people speak it will be something they consider.
Follow-up: So is it a concern that maybe by doing that it might discourage people from building full parties?
When they developed the Fellow System, we took into account the level of the master, the level of the fellow, that kind of thing. These are things that weren't really taken into account during the development of the Level Sync system, so to implement it would raise a lot of issues and problems and it would be difficult.
JeuxOnline: Skill-up/Level Sync question
We do realize this is an issue and for low level parties, we can make those skills come more readily so low level players won't have skill up problems. For the higher levels, it's not something we will be thinking about for level sync. It is more for the lower levels.
Allakhazam.com: Are there any plans to expand the gardening or crafting systems?
We haven't heard that question in ages. We were not expecting it. We hadn't been considering an expansion of the gardening system until now. The gardening system is done for two reasons, to either try to get items or to make gil. I think there is enough the way it is, there are a lot of different ways for people seeking either end to engage in gardening so it's not really something we're thinking of expanding at this point.
Crafting and synthesis is definitely something we've thought about expanding. Taking it a little bit further, but at this point there's nothing worked out really in detail, just ideas being thrown around so I don't want to say anything that might not hold true. But yes, is it something we've been thinking about expanding in some way.
Allakhazam.com: Will there be any clues released about defeating Pandemonium Warden, similar to the video that was released about Absolute Virtue?
We think that cutting the battle time down to 2 hours and announcing that as a maximum is enough of a hint, telling players that there is a way and you'll just have to find out for yourself. But now that it is two hours, that is passive admission that it is capable of being defeated within a 2 hour limit so... good luck.
Allakhazam.com: This is kind of an old news question, but a lot of people still complain that there is heavy use of bots and cheating to get king claims. Can we expect to ever see any changes to the way they are spawned, frequency of spawns, anything like that to try to deter the botting and cheating that goes on?
How do you know these people use tools? On our side, all we really have to work with is the logs and so if there's a tool being used and nothing shows up in the log, then there's really no way we can confirm it, even if a person calls up a GM and says this person is using a tool, Fafnir just "popped purple", we have no way to confirm that on the log side. So... how do you really know they are using tools?
Follow-up: Some people believe that if the spawns were increased there might be less pressure on people to resort to illegal means to get these claims. Is that a philosophy that you agree with or do you think that it's just got to work itself out?
Not really sure... more people might just use tools to get more claims. The tools that show up in the log would be the worst kind of tool, flee tools, warp tools, but if it's something that doesn't show up in the log like claim bots, how do you really know that they're using these tools? Are you sure? How can you be sure? That's the problem.
(Translator comment) Of course it's just a suspicion, right? Of course if there are dozens of people and one person pulls it he's botting, right?
If it's something that people would incessantly raise, something that came to the forefront of discussion constantly then of course it would be a problem that we have to address. But the fact that we're working from the logs and it's something that doesn't show that if we were to take steps then it would be very difficult, we'd have to think of a different approach to solve non-log related bots. Matt's job is to gather all the voices and opinions and get them to us in an orderly fashion.
Allakhazam.com: You are introducing new elements of gameplay like Campaign and Fields of Valor, new endgame elements, new gear, etc. Is that part of the solution to combat this problem to giving people other options and besides the drops from kings?
That is one thing we had thought about, providing viable endgame gear, but at the same time that wasn't the leading factor in there, deciding to introduce good endgame rewards for these new systems.
|FFXI Fan Festival